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The effects of forest harvest operations on mercury and methylmercury in two boreal streams: relatively small changes in the first two years prior to site preparation
Department of Aquatic Sciences and Assessment at SLU, Uppsala, Sweden.
Department of Applied Environmental Science (ITM), Stockholm University.
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry.
Department of Economics, Unit of Applied Statistics and Mathematics, SLU.
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2009 (English)In: Ambio, ISSN 0044-7447, Vol. 38, no 7, 364-72 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Forest harvest is hypothesized to increase the mercury (Hg) load in aquatic ecosystems. The Balsjö paired catchment study examined the outputs of methylmercury (MeHg) and total mercury (Hg(tot)) from two boreal catchments during the 2 y following forest harvest but prior to site preparation. This enabled us to separate the effect of the two operations that followed best management practices. Hg(tot) concentrations increased by approximately 15%, and fluxes by 20-30%. The MeHg concentrations and fluxes either declined or increased by up to 60%, depending on whether annual MeHg peaks during summer low flows were considered to have been influenced by forest harvest. The lack of a severalfold increase in Hg outputs after forest harvest, as reported from other sites, may be the result of minimal soil disturbance during the winter forest harvest operations. If so, there may be a greater Hg response after soil scarification to prepare for planting.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences , 2009. Vol. 38, no 7, 364-72 p.
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-38772DOI: 10.1579/0044-7447-38.7.364PubMedID: 19943392OAI: diva2:381845
Available from: 2010-12-29 Created: 2010-12-28 Last updated: 2011-01-25Bibliographically approved

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